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Old 05-08-2014, 12:02 PM   #1
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1976 Argosy 24
Keene , California
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I Think I Caused a Major Leak in the Bathroom Wall

Hi All, well as my title states Major Leak: I filled my fresh water tank; turned the pump on and open kitchen sink faucet and the next thing I hear is water streaming out of the back of my Argosy! Being new to RVs I did not see this special water feature of water raining out of the wall and bumper when I purchased her? Did I miss something or inadvertently cause this major leak by not following some step? I need advice and how to fix this as I can not see how to access the pipes in the wall behind the shower and toilet? Do I buy tools to remove the exterior skin or try to go in through the bathroom wall which is plastic? Kind of worried about the task ahead Vicky
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:24 PM   #2
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Typically leaks occur at fixtures. Check the toilet valve and sink faucet and be sure the leak isn't originating there. Also check the water heater if it is in the same area. There are also may be low-point drain valves below the coach that could have been left open.

Photos would help. I don't know how the plumbing is laid out in a 1976. Often there are access panels, sometimes not.
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:45 PM   #3
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I Think I Caused a Major Leak in the Bathroom Wall

Thanks Jammer, I looked at the toilet valve because it is in view next to the toilet or maybe that is for the sprayer? The sink valves in the vanity looked ok the water heater is in the roadside wall mid-trailer. I can take some pics of the bathroom and post; I can maybe make a video of the leaking if that would help but I am inclined not to wet the trailer again. Thanks again! Vicky
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Old 05-08-2014, 01:35 PM   #4
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Did you winterize the trailer? If not then something froze during the winter and a pipe or fixture has burst. As you know the general area of the leak, turn on the water for a few seconds, and then feel all the pipes for water, that should lead you to the leak, or leaks. I bought a Argosy that had not been winterized, and it had two pipes that burst, and the shower fixture. The pipes where under the beds so I didn't see them when I inspected it.

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Old 05-08-2014, 10:08 PM   #5
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I agree with Damon, sounds like a freeze. Might be a good time to replace the copper with Pex if it has not already been done

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Old 05-08-2014, 10:36 PM   #6
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So a couple of months ago I decided to fill my water tank and test my pump before heading out on a trip to CA. When i turned on the switch for the pump, I heard water flowing but had no faucets open. I switched off the pump and started crawling around expecting a lot of water somewhere in the trailer, likely hidden where it would do the most damage. I found nothing. Turned on the pump switch again and damn, there was water flowing somewhere. After a bit more exploration, I moved outside and found I had left the valve open on City water supply when I drained the system last winter. I was effectively back-flushing my system.
Sometimes the simplest explanation is, well, the simplest.
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Old 05-08-2014, 10:48 PM   #7
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NY2CA, I don't mean to minimize your plight -only trying to point you to a different possible solution. I hope it's not an internal leak from a burst pipe. If it is, I doubt you'll need to remove skin, you should be able to follow the plumbing lines and replace with PEX. These things were plumbed after the shell was placed on the frame, so you should be able to undo things without pulling too much apart.
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:25 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DryFly View Post
So a couple of months ago I decided to fill my water tank and test my pump before heading out on a trip to CA. When i turned on the switch for the pump, I heard water flowing but had no faucets open. I switched off the pump and started crawling around expecting a lot of water somewhere in the trailer, likely hidden where it would do the most damage. I found nothing. Turned on the pump switch again and damn, there was water flowing somewhere. After a bit more exploration, I moved outside and found I had left the valve open on City water supply when I drained the system last winter. I was effectively back-flushing my system.
Sometimes the simplest explanation is, well, the simplest.
It could be simply a drain valve open, unless you've checked that out.
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Old 05-09-2014, 01:12 PM   #9
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I Think I Caused a Major Leak in the Bathroom Wall

Hi All: Here is a pic of where the water was raining out of. I think that you guys are right in saying that it may have had a frozen pipe? I did not winterize cause the PO that sold me the trailer in Feb. said he has never had any problems like that? I can't see any valves other then the ones in the vanity under the sink. The piping that runs from the fresh water tank in the front of the trailer is copper and I had thought about going Pex from what I had be reading here on the forums. The pipes from the front are in the cabinets and sort of run parallel to the floor to the back of the trailer in the bathroom where they disappear? I looked at the city water inlet when the water was pouring out of the back and only a little came out when I uncapped it. In my panic state when the water was running out the back I uncapped the blank tank valve thinking that some catastrophic thing was going on....nothing happened with that thank goodness! I don't know if there is a city water shut off valve, I don't even know where to look as there seems not to be to many spots for one? Vicky
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Old 05-09-2014, 03:26 PM   #10
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There might be a drain pipe under there. Or running through the bumper storage with a tap on it. Have you had a look for one?
Turn on the faucets in the bathroom, including the shower and then turn on the pump.
Is there any water pressure at the faucets? How about the shower?
If you turn off the shower and leave the taps running, does it increase in pressure?
I am just wondering if it can be determined by this, if the leak is shower or basin side?
Anyone else want to chime in on my thoughts?
I am more of the opinion its perhaps a drain valve open now.
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Old 05-09-2014, 04:56 PM   #11
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I Think I Caused a Major Leak in the Bathroom Wall

Hi Bex, I ran outside to test your theory? Looked for drain valves but I still don't see any? I turned pump on again and the water came out from shower side bumper and belly pan. I turned on the faucet in bathroom sink water came out of it...closed it and turned on shower faucet; it too had water? I'm not sure what type of pressure it is suppose to have since I have never used them before? Here is a pic of pipes behind inverter/converter in cabinet under sink? This seems dangerous with water and electric in the same area...are most trailers like this or is it just mine? Thanks Vicky
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Old 05-09-2014, 07:44 PM   #12
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Actually what I see there ia a water pressure regulator and the main cord in for the trailer. The converter should be at the front of the trailer near the batteries, Yes, it is common to route the main power cord near the pipes and regulator. I have not closely examined a rear bath model. My guess is that you have a split copper pipe in the wall. Copper is very susceptible to freeze damage. Maybe hook it up to a air compressor at about 50 lbs and listen for the hissing sound? You can buy a coupler at Camping World that screws on to the hose fitting for the water and that you can blow air through with a compressor. You can connect the air hose to that fitting with screw fittings or a quick disconnect allowing air compress to be connected to the system. One person can work that way. You need the fitting anyway to winterize next year. That way you can look for a as long as it takes and not flood the wall again. It would be good if you or someone could isolate the leaky line, plug it off, and then replace it with PEX without destroying the outside of the trailer or the bath.
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Old 05-10-2014, 08:12 PM   #13
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I Think I Caused a Major Leak in the Bathroom Wall

Thanks Bill M, I certainly will order the air compressor fitting to look for the leak; your suggestion of it is a twofold boon as a leak finder and a devise that I will need to winterize the trailer with; so that I hopefully will not have to encounter this problem again in the future! My gut feeling though is that the leak is behind the shower wall at the faucet which I think is going to make me have to take the shower apart or out? I think that maybe the lesser of two evils; shower dismantle or remove exterior skin to get at pipes. I had seen online that I could purchase a new shower at Airstream Supply, pricey but the wall looks to be one unit? The shower that I have now is original and has a weird aluminum flashing at the seam? The PO's may have been going for a retro look I guess but may make functionality problematic if water gets in there. Also on closer inspection she looks to have had some type of incident that had been fixed long ago? Tree falling on her or backing into one? Don't know just old blemishes. I like the idea of vintage and staying with the original shower "pink" but it looks like replacement parts are hard to come by! If anyone has any thoughts on my task ahead I'm all ears! Vicky
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Old 05-10-2014, 10:27 PM   #14
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I don't know the specifics of your trailer's layout. But in general terms, rather than fixing an inaccessible pipe, it often makes more sense to abandon it in place and run a replacement pipe in a location that is easier to reach.
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